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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  September 26, 2016 3:00am-6:01am PDT

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clinton and donald trump starts at 9:00 tonight live from hofstra university moderated by lester holt. msnbc will of course >> i can understand why the clinton camp is very nervous. newt gingrich put it best. he said donald trump is the best debater he's ever seen. the babe ruth of debating. shows up and swings and does a great job. >> good morning. it's monday, september 26th. debate night. everybody ready for the big debate. welcome to "morning joe." we have the managing editor of bloomberg politics and host of "with all due respect" mark
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halperin. in washington, columnist for bloomberg view al hunt along with willie, joe and me. a lot of people want to know how your son, andrew, is doing. >> it's been overwhelming. he's doing well. he had a terrible fall last thursday. some steps that i've slipped on a few times. we're big guys, you know. but. >> hopefully he gets out this week. >> fractured his skull. a little bleeding there that they have to monitor closely. he's doing much, much better. up and about. walking. willie, i tweeted this early on that the first test the next morning. really dark moments for us. doctor asked a lot of questions. what's the date?
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what's this? where are you? what's your name and then the last question. what's your favorite team? he goes the red sox. they're on an eight-game winning streak. he's going to be okay. >> they also asked him who the president was. >> mika liked this one. he grimaces. president obama. he comes to my mom seas side of the family there. that's always sort of a safety question when she doesn't remember much of anything. we ask her that. she remembers. that one cuts through. thanks to the hospital. bellevue has been extraordinary. thanks to so many friends that have called and so many prayers from people we don't even know. we just can't thank you enough. >> we'll revisit later. let's get to the big debate tonight between hillary clinton and donald trump. it's expected to be the most watched presidential debate in history. perhaps that's because of the stakes. the race heading into tonight's
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showdown, a dead heat, with donald trump gaining more traction. the nut poll shows hillary clinton and trump died in a two-way race. both candidates at 46% nationally. a big factor in clinton's decline, a drop among young voters falling from a 21-point lead in august to a 10-point lead today. in a four-way matchup. clinton has fallen slightly behind trump who leads 33-41%. another national poll from "the washington post"/abc news has the race in a statistical tie. can you believe this? giving clinton the slight edge. 46% to trump's 44%. johnson at five points in that poll. have we ever seen anything like this before? >> we've seen things going back and forth. nothing like this election
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before. mark halperin, if you had to create a script for a bond fire of vanities election and you wanted to have it move in a certain dramatic way going up to the first debate, this is exactly how you do it. the numbers here are surprising enough. the state polls that we saw on friday and that we see this morning just stunning. the race is up in the air. donald trump supporters have every reason to believe he's going to win this election. >> i spent several days in florida last week talking to voters. the young voter thing that shows up in our poll is a really big deal. a lot of young people said they were for bernie sanders. they're for hillary clinton. if they vote. she has to convince people to be inspired. there's a thought in some democratic circles that trump may have the public mood on his side in a way that a lot more states will come into play. you see all of the battleground
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states tightening. she still has an edge. tonight the stakes are huge because of how close it is. >> let's go through the battleground states really quickly. >> new polls shows tightening in pennsylvania. the poll shows clinton and trump tied. gary johnson at 8%. jill stein at 3%. new cbs tracker polls show colorado a dead heat. >> that's a state right there. that if more than any state. even more than a dead heat, al hunt, in pennsylvania, which is shocking enough. a dead heat in colorado after hillary was up 15 points earlier and demographic makeup of that state is enough to send chills through all of brooklyn. >> it is. colorado has a high percentage of college educated whites. they have a sizable percentage
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of latinos. that was a state that the democrats had put in the blue column along with pennsylvania. both look very close. now, this race couldn't be even tighter. if you look at our poll, it's not only virtually dead even but it's striking how parallel they are. they both have very high negatives. 42% positive. 56% negative. people think that he's healthier and she's smarter and neither one is very truthful. they are absolutely consistent there. negatives are as high as one another at this stage. you know, joe, i look at a lot of polls and if you look at all of the polls, the bloomberg pull and nbc poll happen to be the best. a lot aren't very good. you look at all of them. you probably conclude she has a very small lead. two or three points. third-party candidates are taking more from her than they are from him. >> you know, you can look at the state polls and we have more
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state polls we'll show? just one minute. take what we showed last week and this week. if you told me going into the first debate that the republican would be tied in pennsylvania, tied statistically in wisconsin, up eight in iowa, tied in colorado, tied or a little ahead in nevada, i would say, well, that sounds like a race that the republicans are going to win going away. >> ahead in florida. ahead in the state of ohio. to go back to that colorado poll for just a second, remember that's a state just a few weeks ago the clinton campaign pulled their ads out of because they said we can chalk this up. >> i'm glad you brought that up. state by state. look at how much hillary clinton has spent in each of these states. hundreds of millions of dollars. donald trump zero in most of them. >> look at numbers like in colorado where she's at 40.
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she's not at 45 or 46. when she's doing badly, when trump is doing better, she's more in the low 40s. if she's in the low 40s, she's not going to win. >> they've known her for 35, 40 years. again, i remember going around the table in washington, you weren't there but going around the table in washington, i think this race is a tossup. >> everyone else said it's over for hillary. it's over for hillary. that was three weeks ago. that could change. >> it's a different race today than it was a month ago. you look at state by state polls, that's why democrats are getting tight and pressure is on hillary clinton. i had one big democratic supporter say this debate tonight is "save the republic stuff." >> when i walked into work this morning sort of groggy, i thought i stumbled over somebody. it was heilemann. he just walked in. >> good morning. >> let's look at other states.
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thanks. good for you to show up. clinton holding to an eight-point lead in virginia. 45% to 37. she's down four points in that state poll since august. as willie mentioned, the clinton campaign and they're super pac pulled ads earlier this morning and in maine gives clinton a three-point lead 40-37 with gary johnson taking 12 points. >> you know this state very well. you've been there every year of your life. and since 1988, no republican has won maine. donald trump is going to at least move ahead with one electoral vote. >> the state is poised to split its electoral votes with trump ahead in the northern second district. clinton up in the first. >> i understand that hillary clinton had a tough couple
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weeks. she had the pneumonia scare. they didn't handle that forthrightly. i know they're is still this residue from the comey situation but in poll after poll after poll you see minus 4, minus 6, minus 8, has she performed so badly over the last week and a half to show that kind of precipitous decline or bigger than what people see situationally on the ground. >> you have two factors that have come together at the same time. trump has performed in a more discipline and less controversial way. he continues to say various things that aren't true and say various things that are not normal nominee would say but not a khan level controversy. he's not done anything that caused a major blowup and a couple weeks, bad couple weeks
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as you suggested. last week people at this table and elsewhere suspect that she stabilized. to me one of the biggest questions now remaining that draws something that al pointed out, what happens to the gary johnson vote? he's at 8, 10, 12 points in a bu bunch of places. if gary johnson is not on the debate stage, that vote going to stay home or drift to clinton? that's a big chunk of vote out there. >> it's hard to say. you don't have big enough samples. >> we see his numbers are going down and donald trump's are going up at the same time. >> donald trump has a ceiling in
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a lot of states below 50%. for his chances of winning it's vitally important that the two other candidates draw 6% between them. the more it goes up and the millennial vote is so important, as long as they stay alive -- i wouldn't be surprised for her campaign to go after johnson and trump's campaign trying to build him up below the radar. it's vital that johnson draw votes from her. >> what do you think kellyanne -- everybody always downplays the debates. kellyanne came out yesterday and said donald trump was going to be the babe ruth of debaters. >> he's a brilliant debater. >> newt gingrich -- if somebody said that about me before the debate i could say thank you for your service. you're fired. >> i want to get al hunt in here. tonight's huge debate. more voters are forecasting a clinton win tonight in "the
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washington post"/abc news poll. 44% expect clinton to beat and 34% expect trump to be big. and tonight's debate will be moderated by lester holt has hofstra university at 9:00 eastern and will last 90 minutes. divided into six sections lasting approximately 15 minutes each with a two-minute response and followed by ten minutes of debate. i like that frame work. last night the debate commission announced the first question will go to clinton whose sparring partner in debate preparations was revealed this week. in the role of donald trump, phill phillip rines. i can always trust him to speak his mind. he's very outspoken.
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al, this makeup, the way they've laid out the debate and the way it will be conducted, do you thank that leans toward one candidate's strengths or another? >> i really don't. i also say i've known phillip for a long time. i've talked to him many times. he's no donald trump. i have no idea what they were thinking there. what's hyped more, this or the jolie/pitt breakup? my guess is that we're going to be in a similar position tomorrow. i don't think that these debates have the impact that most people do. sometimes the first does and then it sort of evens out. i think the country is so and electorate is so polarized a teeny group of persuadables. the task is simple. trump has to prove he's capable of being commander in chief. she has to prove she's an okay
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egg. uphill task for both of them. >> one person that will not win the debate tonight and i can predict this right now is lester holt. trump and republicans have been working him saying he's biassed despite the fact that he's a registered new york republican. and they're saying they're all democrats. and then the democrats and you saw it all weekend on twitter, if lester holt doesn't do a, b, c and d, he failed the public. he must fact check. so no matter what he does, he's going to get hammered so, of course, ricky nelson's greatest line, can't please everybody. have to please yourself. seems to me he just has to shut off all of the noise. nobody is going to be happy no matter what he does. >> not saying this because he's our friend and works here but can you think of a more down the middle guy than lester holt?
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a guy that will be more fair? i cannot think of anyone at any network. >> other than you and me. >> it's an impossible position is what joe is saying. >> impossible position. you're right. clinton campaign all weekend has been using the word lie. if lester holt doesn't call donald trump a liar, maybe not using that word, but when donald trump says a and they come back and say b is true and then he's let down the country is their argument. he's going to have to decide. i think he'll pick his spots. if there's an outright lie, no, you were for the war in iraq. there are places i think he'll do that. he'll be as fair as he can be. thankless task. >> if you hear something it's not true. secretary clinton, donald trump just said the sky is red. >> it's very simple. it seems like everybody wants him to be a fact checker. you're exactly right. secretary clinton, donald trump
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said he was against the war in iraq. was he? by the way really quickly, cnn just -- a couple more bits of news that should scare people in brooklyn. >> colorado, 42-41, trump/clinton and then pennsylvania 45-44, trump/clinton. >> just to go back -- as you always say, they're tied in colorado. they're tied in pennsylvania. that's a massive shock when you look at the arc of the last four weeks. >> it's directional. this is something we talk about all of the time. forget about the individual polls but look at what trend lines are. trend lines are for the last three weeks basically it's tightening everywhere. tightening at the national level and tightening in every battleground state. not a place where that's not happening. that tells you about the
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direction of the race. i'll say about the moderatomode. a lot of people have come to the conclusion that our job is to stop the other person from becoming president. if you're not stopping donald trump from becoming president, you're not doing your job. if you're not stopping hillary clinton from becoming president, you're not doing your job. in the context of moderator thing, i talked to mike mccurry and he said, you know, if hillary clinton isn't prepared to take donald trump apart piece by piece, she's committed political malpractice. all of the moderators have that view that you candidates, it's your job to dismember your opponent if he lies on stage. >> what i don't understand is --
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why is it that everything everybody has said is wrong when it comes to demographics. there aren't enough white people to elect donald trump. if he's getting 20% among hispanics and 5% among black voters. that ends up not being true. there are enough white voters to elect donald trump. why is it the old adage that republicans need to unite. where are -- did the martians ship down into america while we weren't looking? >> i tell you one factor, like, in colorado. evangelical vote. the consolidation of republicans
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against hillary clinton and can make a big difference if electorates look more like 2004 than when president obama got elected and re-elected. that's the challenge for hillary clinton tonight is to build a coalition of enthusiasm nationally because trump has surged nationally. no doubt about it. you're seeing it in every one of these state polls. >> we've got to start -- we'll get to much more about this because we have ted cruz in the news, which is fantastic stuff. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> listen, i have had more than a few disagreements with donald. i haven't been shy about those. as many disagreements as i've had with donald, in my view in any measure hillary clinton is manifestly unfit to be president. the democratic process has given us effectively a choice. >> you can say he's fit to be president if you chose to, right? >> you're doing such a fine job
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saying that. >> is that bad lip reading. >> this weekend seemed like one prolonged bad lip reading session. >> even without an apology from his party's nominee. >> how do you go from i can't support this guy because he insulted my wife to i'm for him. >> we'll talk to former obama campaign manager david plouffe but kellyanne conway joins us and look at the most memorable moments including the first one to be televised which took place exactly 56 years ago between senator john kennedy and vice president richard nixon. >> i think mr. nixon is an effective leader of his party. i hope he would grant me the same. the question before us which point of view and which party do we want to lead the united states? >> mr. nixon, would you like to
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comment on that statement? >> i have no comment. ion. like centurylink's broadband network that gives 35,000 fans a cutting edge game experience. or the network that keeps a leading hotel chain's guests connected at work, and at play. or the it platform that powers millions of ecards every day for one of the largest greeting card companies. businesses count on communication, and communication counts on centurylink.
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>> i tell you. i know this about hillary clinton.
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when the lights are bright like they are right now, she brings the a plus game to the table. she's going to be very, very good tomorrow night. >> all right. joining us now, donald trump's campaign manager kellyanne conway. >> i don't understand, mika. the babe ruth thing, i was just saying -- if somebody said that before a debate that would freak me. aren't you supposed to say, you know what, maybe if he hits .150 and hopefully he won't drool down his left cheek. >> it would lower expectations for donald trump in a big way. that's a newt gingrich quote. >> no problem with the guy saying he is the greatest ever. >> donald trump started in the middle in august and he never moved. >> what do you worry for your candidate?
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>> i'm worried about not being treated afterwards. i'm worried that headlines are already written and conclusions in search of evidence. you saw and others were talking about it in earlier segment, this weekend was spent by editorial writers and twitter and elsewhere trying to undercut donald trump before the debate. somehow putting the burden on the media to prop up hillary clinton and that's not the role of the media. >> that's been happening before. everyone is working the refs before and now they moved to post-spin debate. it's almost like they don't think hillary clinton is strong enough to do it on her own. >> that's the key. we can scream bias and unfairness. the key here is what joe said. they worry about her debating skills. i was astonished to hear she had participated in 34 primary debates. it's an incredible number. she's the nominee this time.
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she was not the nominee last time. no connection we can see between her debate performances and any type of major lift in the polls thereafter. i think they know that over in brooklyn. she's surrounded by very smart people. she's a smart person. this isn't her twesweet spot. >> just because you're so good and the campaign has changed in a direction dramatically since you joined the trump campaign, i just want to make sure we're on at least planets that are close to each other or maybe the same one. is it possible -- do you understand why there might be skepticism in the media? is it possible that you see that your candidate hasn't often told the truth in the past about certain issues. i could name them. i'm wondering do you know that about your candidate? >> i'm very self-aware and very aware of my candidate. i've also been in these debate prep sessions and i see this guy as ready for tonight. he's a natural debater. i've been in politics for 28 years. donald trump has gifts and
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skills that sometimes escape typical politicians because he's just not -- his mind isn't poisoned by this stuff. as a pollster, i find it very liberating and refreshing to work for somebody who doesn't ask a pollster what word should i use, which way should i look? >> is he studying on the issues? >> of course. absolutely. he takes his job very seriously. you saw in the primaries -- people say that doesn't matter. it does matter when it comes to how do you carry yourself on the stage and answered questions when they're asked and when you answer questions about this, the idea that someone was talking about the iraq war on a radio show as a private citizen and said, yeah, i guess so. i guess so. versus hillary clinton who proudly went down into the well of the united states senate, cast her vote for the iraq war and basically has been a hawk and interventionalist her entire career. >> you know well the new "the
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washington post" poll came out tied nationally with hillary clinton. on issues he's up by 7% on the economy and tied with her in many other areas. one place his handling is international crisis is where he doesn't do as well. down double digits on that question. his answer to how we defeat isis is to knock the hell out of them or do something extremely tough. will he offer more specifics on what that means? people are really worried about that right now. what is the plan to defeat isis. >> he may. he has a plan. i've heard it. this is his debate, willie. he'll tell you if that question is asked. people are just amazed that hillary clinton would put on her campaign website what her plan to defeat isis is. is it that isis can't read that plan? here's what we know. we know that since 2003, isis and its predecessors are responsible for 80,000 deaths. i'm sorry, 33,000 deaths. 83% in the last three years
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under isis. people know the birth and growth of isis have occurred on president obama's watch and hillary clinton's watch. >> don't you think we're owed some specifics about the plan? >> or at least a sense that he has a knowledge of the landscape. >> of course. he'll be happy to offer those specifics without telling the enemy exactly what we're going to do. it does seem odd. thank you for mentioning polls. something that really struck me in that abc news/"washington post" poll how they are tied on attributes. cares about people like me. i think that natural connective tissue he has with people and his ability to communicate directly with people through the noise or through the silence, however the case may be will be on display tonight. >> to put a button on it, we'll
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get the isis plan tonight in the debate? >> you will get his view of how best to defeat the enemy without telling isis specifically what it's going to be. when it comes to terrorism and it comes to the economy in that same poll that you're quoting, those are the top two most important issues to voters according to "the washington post"/abc news poll and one where donald trump dominates hillary clinton on issue of how do you trust to handle the economy and who do you trust who handle terrorism? americans, if not allies abroad, consider terrorism isis. we know that. it includes other things too. it's now here on our soil. >> we're pushing a bit here because we had robby mook on and asked questions about syria and refused to answer like did hillary clinton support the president's action after assad crossed the red line. can you answer that question? does donald trump believe barack obama made a mistake by allowing assad to cross the red line and
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not reacting militarily. >> what mr. trump said is the red line wasn't even real. we're concerned that you have half a million people that have been killed. >> did barack obama make a mistake by not responding. i'm sure that donald trump will be asked that tonight and to the extent that my view matters. >> do you know what his view? >> of course barack obama and hillary clinton who was there when he put in that red line have made a mistake by not taking syria. even the u.n. called what they're doing barbaric. 80 civilian deaths just yesterday. >> samantha power yesterday, we haven't said that in the news yet, very, very strong speech at the united nations about six months late accusing russia of acts of barbarism. it's about time. >> front and center tonight is truthfulness on the part of both candidates.
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mika referenced it. so many examples for both candidates of things they said. he said lester holt was a democratic. lester holt is a republican. how could he say such a thing that just black and white factually incorrect? >> i don't know that he knew what lester holt's voter registration is. >> without knowing, he asserted he was a democratic. >> i think lester holt is great selection for a moderator. we don't like is the following. we don't like is -- first of all, if you tell me media are not overly populated with democrats, that's false. >> he made a factual claim about the moderator who deserves the right to be treated fairly and it was just wrong. it's a metaphor of him stating things that aren't true. >> we were appalled at the treatment of nbc news matt lauer
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after the commander in chief forum. i said it, mr. trump said it, matt lauer did not deserve the treatment and blow back he received. we thought he did a great job. matt lauer didn't vote for the war in iraq. >> this is a filibuster. is, i'm asking you how someone running for president can assert that the moderator is a democratic, which is factually incorrect? how can he do that? >> i think what donald trump was trying to convey is the media are filled with people who -- >> he didn't say i don't know what he is. he said he's a democratic. >> the thing that concerns us not the moderators themselves selected by the commission because they'll be seen as fair and even handed. what bothers us is the very public and very coordinated attempt to gain the refs. the idea that really smart
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people that i respect as colleagues across the aisle, the idea they are outhere publicly telling media this is what you should be doing. do you consider yourself an abject on the clinton campaign, because they do. it's require responsible of them to tell the media through twitter, through the back of the plane comments last week, here's your job. if you don't fact check donald trump, the bar is lower. some even suggesting that the questions will be tougher on her because of sexism. seriously? you've been secretary of state. you've been first lady. you've been a u.s. senator. >> not only playing the refs during, they have now taken this to a whole new level. they are already suggesting she's going to lose the debate and telling people how they need to respond after the debate. >> it's terrible. >> i don't understand what that has to do with mark's question. >> we are frustrated by media coverage. >> we're asking why he lied about lester holt. >> i think he did. >> mika, a lie would mean he
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knew the man's party registration. by the way, each campaign had a right to object to certain moderators -- >> would he say things that are false that are not true? >> we're running out of time. you've had five minutes on this. go ahead. give me a quick answer and let's go to john heilemann. we can make the whole thing about this. >> i would ask you to look at the twitter feeds of objective reporters particularly our inbeds. these are not profiles encouraged and not journalism. people slander or candidate on twitter. we printed them out. 92% of at least two of our inbeds tweets are negative toward donald trump. why are they covering our campaign if they can't say look at this crowd and look at rsvp of 32,000 people in ft. myers last monday and look at the rise in the polls.
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excuse the trump campaign if we feel like we can't get a fair shake from certain people. >> john heilemann. >> you mentioned that you had been observing mr. trump closely as he's been doing his debate prep. put aside the question of how the debate will be interpreted or how it will be covered, just in terms of candidate performance, what do you think the biggest concern you have going into tonight or biggest risk that donald trump faces in terms of his own performance? >> i already said it. it won't be treated fairly. >> i said put aside the question of how it's interpreted or how media covers it. just as someone who has coached a lot of candidates, watching your candidate going through debate prep, what are polilacesu think he might have biggest problems in terms of performance. >> it may be something senator obama said in 2008 when he was running against hillary clinton is hillary clinton will say anything or do anything to get
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select elected. if she says you're being mean to a woman and people will say he was mean to a woman and twitter will blow up even if it's not true. that's my concern if he's not able to get out all of his responses. people are so worried that she's not a great debater and not ready for tonight the way he is. she's going to try to interrupt him and confuse people watching in such a way that he was rude to a woman or somehow lied on the stage. >> good to see you again. well done. >> we're going to continue talking about this after you're gone. >> talk about the polls. we love the polls. >> unbelievable. the swing states, it's tight. >> colorado and pennsylvania. >> dead heat is the only way to characterize it. interim dnc chair don donna bra will join the table. we're back in just a moment.ll download the new app?
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>> that was fascinating. we do have both sides masterfully playing the press. masterfully -- >> it's a big night no matter what in this race. up next, our political roundtable expands. we'll bring in sam stein of "the huffington post" and two giants of the editorial page and as we go to break, a look back at 1980 when former california governor ronald reagan delivered the most
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memorable closing statement in debate history. >> it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago? if you don't agree, if you don't think that this course that we've been on for the last four years is what you would like to see us follow for the next four, then i could suggest another choice.
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46 past the hour. you're looking at a live shot of hofstra university. this is where the big debate is going to be held tonight. first debate of this presidential election. i can't even stand it. i have no idea what's going to happen. can anyone? i mean, i have just -- does anyone have any clue? no. this is the most -- sam does. sam, what's going to happen? >> they're going to stand at two lecterns and yell at each other
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and we'll move on with our lives after that. there will be a lot of noise around this debate honestly and in the end it will change very little. >> why do you say that? >> am i supposed to build it up? >> i think you're being bittersweet. >> this is the whole put trump on the comedy page thing. >> this is what the smart guys do. they rub their beard and say, oh, don't overplay this. >> this is crazy. >> i need a pipe. >> just because it's a dead heat and they're both incredibly flawed and one of them is incredibly unpredictable and goes in places that have never been gone before. hello. how could that be -- >> just it suggest to me there
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are other factors working in this race. >> this is a changed electorate. >> we have jeremy peters. you've been speaking to people high up in the trump campaign. >> they seem -- >> kellyanne is confident. she's amazing. and there really has been change in the direction and tone and course of the campaign since she joined. >> i think that's one thing we can say. if you say anything nice about trump's campaign, you said that last week. it's safe to say since she's come onboard, it's really everything has changed. >> certainly he sticks to the prompter a lot more, right. i don't know that their involvement in the campaign has curtailed his stretching of the truth any. >> have you seen the polls? have you noticed those, jeremy? >> i have noticed the polls.
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>> he's been -- >> they are absolutely related. >> he hasn't held a press conference since -- >> who do you think is responsible for that? >> we're saying the same thing here. >> there is an extraordinary confidence coming out of this campaign. you can see it on her face when she was sitting in this chair a few minutes ago. they really feel like momentum is moving in their direction. >> we were over there. we noticed the campaign, the first couple months or whatever, nine months or whatever, square room with corey and i think it was like the old set for "the apprenti apprentice" and it was like crickets. now there's 200 people in a room. it's very impressive setup. they have some new people who are coming in doing a lot of internet work. i think there's some things that will come out in the coming
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weeks in terms of the groundwork they've done that we don't really have our finger on. i think it's going -- i could be wrong. >> that is definitely wrong. keeping it between the lines and have this boring performance, he tweets over the weekend about jennifer flowers. i'm not sure what exactly he's going to do when he gets on the stage. the question for me is hillary has been doing psychological profiles and studying for months and months. if she puts the finger on the right button whether wealth, trump university, whatever it is, is he able to keep it between the lines or go at her in a personal way that blows the whole thing up? >> please tell me, if you will, what donald trump could do or say that could blow things up? he has been walking through political mine fields for a year and a half and he keeps walking. at this point what can he say --
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he's ahead in colorado. >> i think you could imagine -- i mean on basis of past practice, you could imagine him saying something to hillary clinton like what he said to carly fiorina about her face would be the kind of thing that would all spinning aside by kellyanne conway, a genuinely nasty attack on clinton of that kind, that would be potentially devastating with a large chunk of the electorate. >> it wasn't before. did it hurt him before? >> he did that to carly fiorina and still won. i think there's -- >> it's a different -- it really is a different setting now. if a hundred million people are watching this debate, it will be a different impact in this setting. >> one thing we're also not taking into account here that the campaign has actually discussed is what that room feels like. this is a room of 200, 300 people.
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not a very big audience. not a partisan hyped up audience like we saw during the primary debates. audiences from which he drew a lot of energy and really kind of, i think, changed the course of those debates. >> the thing is, jeremy, this is going to be easier for trump than the republican primary debates where he was regularly booed. remember all of the times he said the republican donors. most candidates would have -- let's always remember this. most candidates would have wilted under those circumstances. he is a creature of tv. he loves that kind of context. >> it was assumed that he had poor performances. >> to say this is different, we don't know that. we know nothing. this is not about us. we have no idea. sam stein and jeremy peters, thank you very much. much more still ahead on "morning joe."
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still ahead this morning, we have chuck todd, eugene robinson, maureen dowd. we're back in just a moment. but with added touches you can't get everywhere else, like claim free rewards... or safe driving bonus checks. even a claim satisfaction guaranteeeeeeeeeee! in means protection plus unique extras only from an expert allstate agent. it's good to be in, good hands. ...stop clicking around...travel sites to find a better price... the lowest prices on our hotels are always at hilton.com. so pay less and get more only at hilton.com. you know what, guys? there's a lot of tree branches and dry brush over here.
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coming up at the top of the hour, new polls show the presidential race is locked up raising the stakes for tonight's general election debate. >> the polls are crazy. colorado, pennsylvania. >> i'm beside myself.
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>> mind-blowing. >> nbc news political director chuck todd joins us and interim chair of the democratic national committee joins us, donna brazile. back in a moment. your car got rear-ended
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[ beetle horn honks ] no matter which passat you choose, you get more standard features, for less than you expected. hurry in and lease the 2017 passat s for just $199 a month. overprepare. overprepare. hillary clinton has been doing this most of her life. she's t this is new for donald trump. he should overprepare. i have prepared for these myself. you have to offer the country a vision. go on offense. prosecute your case. hold your opponent accountable. and then show country the
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direction you want to go and prepare, prepare, prepare. i hope he's doing that. >> i think donald trump has been preparing for this debate for his entire lifetime. he's built a great business. he's traveled the country. and particularly in this campaign, john. as you saw last night in roanoke, virginia, donald trump has been out among the american people. he's given voice to the frustrations and aspirations of the american people like no american leader in my lifetime since ronald reagan. >> welcome back to "morning joe." it's monday, september 26th. it's a big night. still with us, we have managing editor mark halperin. joining the conversation, moderator of "meet the press," chuck todd also with us. and editor at "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst eugene robinson. >> we have a lot to talk about. let's go right to it.
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let's find the colorado and pennsylvania polls and put them up. i'm going start with colorado. chuck todd, if there's any -- >> i'll throw these away. >> if there's any poll that would disturb me if i worked in brooklyn for the clinton campaign, it would be a colorado poll. younger electorate. hispanic electorate. well educated electorate. and an electorate that was going for hillary clinton by 15 points a couple weeks ago. two polls out this morning that show colorado a dead heat. i really believe it's the can are canary in the coal mine. >> if this is where this movement is happening in colorado, it's back into play like this, it does add new paths
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for donald trump. i mean, look, the amazing thing over the last two weeks is he has a legitimate path without virginia and pennsylvania. he had come up and cobbled together a legitimate path. she has more. you throw in colorado, that allows him different ways and suddenly it's no longer, well, she's got 70% chance type of thing. it's a different ball game. >> let's throw in a different state that chuck just mentioned. pennsylvania polls out showing tightening. here is cnn's poll that shows hillary clinton up by one. there's a poll out yesterday that shows hillary clinton up by two. this race in pennsylvania again after hillary clinton was ahead. >> if colorado is in play, then she does need to win pennsylvania. she needs to, you know, and pennsylvania is a state that -- we should keep in mind, it often
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looks closer than it ends up being. but that's a significant finding. these polls this morning are almost uniformly good. >> what's the path that doesn't include florida? >> if he's close in colorado, if he's close in pennsylvania, if he's close in wisconsin, if he wins in maine, i think as a florida resident, you would agree with me, he's going to win florida. if all of those polls are that close, he's up by four or five in ohio. he's up eight in iowa. this all goes the -- >> what's interesting is the tell from the clinton campaign her first rally post-debate i believe was north carolina. her first rally is raleigh. i saw that last night. which tells you that i actually think if you look at -- we go through this. is it one state that is the linchpin? no.
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there is a trio and north carolina is one of those. i think they do see if they grab north carolina, that complicates a whole bunch of paths for trump. >> democrats are soothing themselves saying it mitt romney was ahead in many poms at thlls point. the national polls look tight. for mitt romney if you look inside swing states, he was losing a lot of those. >> when you sort of unpack these polls and you look at the various demographic groups, trump is overperforming romney in the right spots. a lot of this has to do with -- some has to do with how different pollsters are doing likely voter models and most likely they are helping trump because trump has the enthusiasm. she has enthusiasm problem. if you use that as part of your c calculus, changes it.
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>> frank has a grim outlook as to what could happen tonight. he writes this in "the new york times." if trump keeps an uncharacteristically steady hand on the wheel, and never crests 60 miles per hour, it's possible. it's also my nightmare. i don't mean in terms of debate juiciness or let down as entertainment, i mean in the way it could frame him for viewers that haven't come to a firm conclusion. the positive impact on his candidacy. he shouldn't get a do over but a measured debate performance could give him precisely that. so we find ourselves in a hypocritical position. rooting for the antics that we typically deplore and craving the voluulgarity. it's a scenario that becomes more likely if monday night is dignified and respectful. >> i'm not sure it's great for trump to be boring.
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you know, boring trump is not inspirational trump. i don't know. i think he has to be trumpy if he -- >> i don't know. i get what frank is going at. a boring debate is a win for trump. that's what he's saying. >> that's what he's saying. i'm just kind of sort of playing against the conventional wisdom on that. >> we won't like boring. >> a couple times people like to say that debates don't make difference despite the fact i can name five debates in the past 30 years that have made a huge difference. al gore would not have been in any recount if he had not done so horribly in all three debates against a guy wrestling the english language every step of the way. do you believe that tonight's debate could make a difference
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with undecided voters? it seems to me this is one of the most fluid electorates that we've seen in some time. >> also make a difference inspiring the bases of both sides. i said given the mood of the electorate for change, if donald trump by election day is seen as an acceptable choice, probably going to win. clinton campaign spent a lot of time and money trying to disqualify him. we now that at least 42 million people will vote for donald trump. at least. maybe substantially more. i think tonight is his chance. if he acts like he did in mexico. if he acts like he did in town hall with his family anderson cooper, given media coverage harder to disqualify him which is essential for her to win. >> after weeks of one of the nastiest primaries in recent memory, ted cruz on friday threw his support behind donald trump. politico writes this morning that for weeks cruz had been profiting off trump by renting him his campaign e-mail list.
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he reportedly began more than a month before that unforgettable snub during the republican convention in cleveland where the senator declined to back his party's nominee in prime time and yet over the weekend cruz sought to explain his incredible about-face of support citing the supreme court posture and pledge to support his party's nominee. >> listen, i have had more than a few disagreements with donald trump. i haven't been shy about those. as many disagreements as i've had with donald, in my view by any measure, hillary clinton is manifestly unfit to be president. the democratic process has given us a choice. >> you can say the words he's fit to be president if you chose to, right? >> you're doing such a fine job saying that. what i'm certain of is that if hillary clinton were president, she would appoint left wing
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idealogs and it's a very strong list of 21 names. from the perspective of someone who cares about defending the constitution and bill of rights, that's a very meaningful difference. >> running in this campaign when donald trump has been in a commitment and binding business, how has that worked out? >> with two young daughters, how can you in good conscious support a candidate -- >> that's a question that i have wrestled with. my girls were on the campaign trail with us. they traveled across the country with us. when he said that about heidi, we sat down and talked to them about it. they went through this as an 8 year old and 5 year old. when i say i've wrestled over the last several months about what is the right thing to do. at the same time, i want my daughters to have a country where they enjoy freedom of
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speech. where they enjoy the rights under the bill of rights. the religious liberty. the second amendment. i have no intention of defending everything that donald trump says and does. i have been very clear that i have significant disagreements with him. i don't think it is beneficial for me to outline those disagreements in the weeks before a general election when it is a choice. >> ted cruz's convictions, republicans in good conscious could difference on trump candidacy given his comments and challenging policy views. the way mr. cruz has handled the choice, however, is a clinic in political cynicism. what is so entertaining as you watch him is the cynicism is -- it really is about as
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telegraphed as possible. it would be like, okay, i am swinging this but i'm going to jab you like this. i mean, you see it coming a mile away. it's obvious and it's embarrassing. >> he was the principle guy. he was the holdout that would hold us head up high and say to conservative supporters who don't like donald trump, i stayed with you through this. mitt romney, jeff flake, lindsey graham, you could add to that list. they were going to be the holdouts. they stayed true to who they were. i asked the question when i heard that endorsement, what was the point of the spectacle in cleveland. what was the point in that if you were going to flip any way. >> why was it okay to endorse a guy that insulted his wife's looks and his family and his father. how do you endorse a man who
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suggested your husband helped kill jfk and -- >> your father. >> your father killed jfk and that your wife was not attractive. i can tell you this, if somebody asked me to endorse him, i would have two words for them. the second would be off. >> they would not be nice words. i don't think you can. how does this whole thing help cruz? at the end if trump wins, he takes credit for bringing texas along. i don't see what he gains out of it. having taken the stand he took. >> is this all about not angering voters? >> avoiding a primary challenge being part of maybe working with a possible president trump. he took a pledge to endorse the republican nominee. i think in fact the position that was against what on some level he should have done as a
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republican is when he didn't live up to his word. he took a pledge like everybody else. i will support the nominee. he didn't say i'll support the nominee if he doesn't insult my wife. >> all bets are off, right, if you insult his wife's looks and you claim his father is an assassin or would be assassin, all bets are off. >> maybe reince scared him. >> he threatened them. >> good luck with that on john kasich. >> there are two ways that candidates did sign pledges with the rnc. one was ridiculous thing during spectacle that we followed and other was when you agreed to use, you sign to get rnc voter list and use their system, one of the things you signed is you agree in that contract you also agree to it. i think all of this had an impact on him. i think a little bit of reince and the fact that iowa and new hampshire activists were angry
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at him and he was paying attention to what the early state people said. i think the mercer family, the big super pac donors had an impact. i think mccaul, the wealthiest member of congress, threatening a primary challenge did it. i'm guessing he had -- mccaul was flirting with one. i think he probably did see some numbers in a primary matchup for 2018 that showed perry ahead of him. this feels like a political panic. >> i think he's going to get a primary challenge no matter what. >> that's what i think. >> this may guarantee it. >> all right. chuck todd, eugene robinson, thank you. thank you so much. >> tonight is going to be crazy. i'll be here. >> are you going to work late into the night? >> you're fired up for
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saints/falcons? saints/falcons, is that what you're talking about? >> big game tonight. >> no idea what you're talking about. >> growing up in mississippi, it was the biggest game. we're not in mississippi tonight. >> still ahead, we're joined by donna brazile, ben ginsburg and maureen dowd and later president obama's former campaign manager says trump is losing. it is he who significantly needs to change trajectory of the race. and as we go to break, another classic debate moment when ronald reagan buried criticism in four years. >> this is a national health insurance important to the american people. governor reagan is typically against such a proposal. governor? >> there you go again. it's not a banner that goes on a wall.
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it's not something you do now and then. or when it's convenient. it's using state-of-the-art simulators to better prepare for any situation. it's giving offshore teams onshore support. and it's empowering anyone to stop a job if something doesn't seem right. at bp, safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better. at bp, safety is never being satisfied. iand i could tell that when shen i waslooked at me she didn't see disability. she saw someone strong and capable like i see myself. donald trump doesn't see people like me. he just sees disability.
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i honestly feel bad for someone with so much hate in his heart. we need a president who sees the best in all of us. i'm hillary clinton and i approve this message.
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19 past the hour. joining us now interim chair of
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the democratic national committee donna brazile. also with us, attorney and republican strategist ben ginsburg. >> just going to sit still. >> donna, good to see you. >> donna, we have been talking about how crazy this election is. polls that came out over the weekend. colorado, tied. pennsylvania, tied. wisconsin, tied. nobody could have seen this coming a month ago. this is -- there are a lot of undecides. >> your love is like a seesaw, baby. don't get caught up in the current. try to push it. just push it. look, i'm confident at the end of the day and ben knows this, it's about turnout. we'll get you. we'll take you on. we'll roll you over. >> here's the thing. doesn't it concern you that pretty much every step of the
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way any gut instinct you had about opposing candidate, donald trump, has not bear bared out t way -- >> nobody saw this coming. >> blurting things, lies, gaffs that would just end a career forever and yet dead heat. >> you know, those of us from the south, we know people like donald trump. donald trump is one of these guys that can get up in a tree and shake it. he's a disrupter. that's fine. okay. i mean, that's the political environment we're in. the key thing is for hillary clinton to talk about the future. this election is about the future. it's not about donald trump and hillary clinton. it's about the future. look at the polls and i saw them this morning -- >> can she? >> hell yeah. if she pivots to the future and makes sure that she is inclusive, which she is,
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stronger together because we are a country that can do great things if we work together. that's the strategy. of course i'm not advising anybody. i'm the chair of the party. party. >> right down the middle. >> ben, you told me something incredible about this debate. no memorandum of understanding. no rules. no agreement they're going to get together for another debate. this could go any direction at all. >> usually the campaigns sign an agreement. campaigns have been talking. they haven't gotten around to putting specifics on paper with signatures, which usually happens. >> they could go play laser tag. >> no promises. no stand behind the podium. raise your hand. ask your opponent a question. all sorts of things that have been -- >> why is there not a memorandum of understanding? >> because the campaigns for their own reasons decided not to do it. actually, if i were the hillary clinton campaign, i would be more scared about that than if i was the donald trump campaign
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because what you've seen and what you're saying today and what the campaign has been saying, you want to keep this under tight rules. here is an absence of rules. >> given the great disparity in what the campaign resources are, which is to say that hillary clinton has spent so much more money on ads and so much more -- >> advertising on shows like this when she could have just put some love out. i get it. >> she's got people on the ground. organizers. donald trump hasn't been doing any of that stuff. why is this campaign so close right now? >> because, look, we're a divided country. the partisans are coming home. donald trump was able to consolidate his republican support over the last couple of weeks. secretary clinton still has a challenge with millennials. they're very, very vital to her success. that's why i brought some literatu literature. see. the president of the united states over 50%. approval rate.
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>> he'll be out on the road with her. >> and first lady. i didn't bring that one because that's hot off the press. i'm not surprised. i was out in las vegas. i've been out to colorado. i've been to the great state of florida. i've been around. donald trump has store fronts with signs. make america great again. hillary clinton has office space with data and analytics and people who are canvassing and phone banking. at the end of the day it comes down to one, two, three. one, you'll vote for me and you'll vote early and early vote is taking place all over the country. two, you're a little bit undecided. and those are the people that are key right now. and having a ground game, having these offices, that's an investment in the people who will turn out on election day. joe knows that as well. and lastly, the three. three is people like ben. we're not going to touch. we're not going to hate on you but we're not going to spend time with you because he's going with donald trump. >> she has those advantages. >> you're looking at frosting on
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a cake. you're not looking at the ingredients. >> look at frosting on a cake. >> i love frosting. that's the problem. it might be that a lot of people just want the frosting. >> you want a sugar high because that's what happened after the convention. she's sugar high. you want to see the real ingredients. the ability to get people out where they live and work and play. and that's the game that we're going to rely on and a strong candidate. we're looking at from the courthouse to the white house. we have a lot of state houses that we want to flip back to democratic control including here in new york. so i think our ground game coupled with the fact that our candidates will bring a lot of vanity vanity. >> the problem with the argument is that donald trump has the excitement and hillary clinton doesn't. and so that's what's causing the rise in the polls and the dynamics. the challenge for the trump campaign is that he's appealing to people who don't usually vote. the infamous low voters.
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the campaign we worked on growing up, ground game did matter. this may be where it doesn't as much. rnc claims they have a ground game. each senate has a ground game. that's where republican voters will come from that gets in the way. it's the enthusiasm gap to worry about. >> it's the heat that donald trump generates but when the cake comes out, it's flat. when you stick your finger in there, that dough did not rise. >> i'm getting hungry now. >> let me ask you about hillary clinton. by the way, les miles. they fires les miles. didn't see that coming. >> they were dancing like it was new orleans. >> it's time. >> no more eating grass before big games. so what is it about hillary clinton? i think most of us have met her.
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we like her personally. it doesn't seem to translate on the trail. what is the big disconnect between hillary clinton, the person that you know and we know. you know her much better than us. and hillary clinton the candidate that just right now still hasn't connected with americans. >> people say that about my ex-boss. i have a couple. this one was al gore. they said he's stiff. he doesn't come across well. and in person he's such and such. come on. some people love the camera. some people can operate and okay i'm great. and there are others who just that camera is a screen to them. she's so amazing. i've known her since i've known you. we go back a couple days. she is an incredible person. i think the american people need to understand that this was a job interview, think about it. this one person comes in just dressed up. nice suit like this young man
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here. and just disrupts the class. disrupts the interview, and he wants the job. other one comes well prepared. has all her notes. you know, very good. >> the guy gets the job, donna. that's what happens, donna. >> that was the path. >> that's the reality that women all face today. guys walk in there. they bluster. they lie. they're totally confident. they are very used to saying much more about themselves than what actually exists. they go on and on and on and they make up stuff and then they get the job because the woman comes in and she's all prepared. her resume is 25 pages long. and she thinks everybody is going to just notice her hard work. >> i second that. >> there are really long gaps this this debate. what's the right body language? how do you project properly. >> how do you communicate effectively? >> if you're here? not like the guy at all but very, very effectively.
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be the counter to donald trump. if he's doing his trumpy stuff, hillary clinton is best when she's actually owning it. it's inside. she's communicating with actually quite frankly a quiet, calm voice. not even trying to be quiet. and when she's there and owns it. and there's a wonderful thing called the awkward moment. let it ride. just don't even. don't even look at him. she's got to take that stage and take that camera and realize this is her moment. this is the one moment and this is not what you want to vote for. not you. trump. i wish i could talk because all this yelling is no good. >> no good. >> talking generalities, how specific should she be about policy? >> i can answer that. i can answer it. i can tell you right now, what she needs to do is she has her lists. she has her long lists of
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accomplishments and all of these things. i would just keep going. i wouldn't get all up. i would take time and go through one by one by one by one by one what she's done, why she's the most qualified candidate and then turn around and ask him what he's been doing all his life. >> amen. >> what is the difference? >> what the difference between these two people? her tone has to completely own it like this. not like this. that's not going to work. >> that's a tree shaker. she's the jelly maker. she's going to get it right. >> seeing her on the campaign trail yelling because -- she's great when she's her. >> what we figured out. >> i love her when she's her. >> you have a tree shaker and a jelly maker. >> absolutely. >> hillary is making the jelly. >> let me tell you something -- >> you know what i'm talking about. >> you are so right, mika.
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she owns it when she speaks and the voice that is her voice. that's the authentic voice. she pivots to the future. this is not about those of us who already lived half of our lives. i'm telling you ages here but about those beginning their lives, raising their families, starting a new business. it's about kids out there protesting in charlotte and other places. it's about lifting them up and bringing this country together and that's hillary clinton. i'm with her. >> donna brazile, thank you very much. >> are you going to invite me back, joe? you know you miss me. >> i miss you a lot. thank you for your prayers by the way. >> i love you. you know me and are are always going connect. >> long way back. >> god bless andrew. >> i think you make the jelly. >> i think i'm a jelly maker to be honest. i like to make jelly by shaking the trees. >> who are you going to vote
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for, ben? >> look, i've always been a good republican. i'm a republican in the district of columbia. the nominee of the republican party has not gotten more than 10% in the district of columbia in 24 years. so i'm going to see what happens. >> he didn't answer. a look back at the classic moment in debates. let's go to st. louis in 2000 when al gore shouldn't have done this. it was a little too aggressive toward george w. bush. >> i don't like this. that's when you saw that bush had -- >> i can get something positive done on behalf of the people. that's what the question in this campaign is about. it's not only what your philosophy and your position on issues but can you get things done? i believe i can. so you can see our confusion. ge is an industrial company that actually builds world-changing machines.
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>> busy day. on normal days we would have started the show talking about one of the greatest golfers that ever lived and a guy that brought golfing into the television age. arnold palmer. an extraordinary man. an extraordinary guy. and dead at 87. and of course on the other side of course jose fernandez in miami. what a sad -- >> 24 years old. >> sad tragedy.
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two deaths. one from one of the greatest that's ever been and another that's just great, young pitcher who was the future. >> the fernandez story is gut wrenching. defected from cuba. announced his girlfriend is pregnant with their first child. all-star a couple times. beloved by his teammates and city of miami and was in a boating accident on saturday. they found his boat. him and two other people. just a punch in the gut to the world of baseball. one of the brightest young stars tragically dieing in a boating accident. >> this happened several years ago. i think mets players during spring training. >> cleveland indians years before that. >> you get out there. being a florida guy, you don't see things in the water.
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it's just such a tragedy. >> up next, you may not have ever heard of alan. >> we have. >> what does he say? what does he say? trump is headed for a win. the professor joins us ahead and we'll bring in maureen dowd. we're back in just a moment. hey look, it's those guys.
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[music] shawn: look at those pearly whites, man. [music]
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bud: whoa, cute! shawn: shut-up. jess: are you good to drive? shawn: i'm fine. [music] [police siren] jess: how many did you have? shawn: i should be fine. jess: you should be? officer: sir, go ahead and step out of the vehicle for me. shawn: yes, sir. bud: see ya, buddy. today, shawn's got a hearing, we'll see how it goes. good luck! so, it turns out buzzed driving and drunk driving, they're the same thing and it costs around $10,000. so not worth it.
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that's why a cutting edgeworld. university counts on centurylink to keep their global campus connected. and why a pro football team chose us to deliver fiber-enabled broadband to more than 65,000 fans. and why a leading car brand counts on us to keep their dealer network streamlined and nimble. businesses count on communication, and communication counts on centurylink. with us now, marureen dowd and from washington, the man who predicted the winner of the popular vote in every election since 1984, alan lichtman. thank you for being with us. maureen, you're voting dangerously gets more dangerous as you look at polls in
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colorado, pennsylvania, wisconsin. they are all draws. who saw this coming? it's crazy. >> i can't think of anyone that saw this coming. >> what's happening out there? >> gosh, well, i agree with mark it's a lot of angry white men or maybe more than we knew existed. >> angry white men. that's it? >> a lot more. >> we heard there weren't enough angry white people to elect donald trump if he only gets 20% of the hispanic vote, 5% of the black vote. like mitt romney he's going to come up short. that doesn't appear to be the case. you can see trump win. >> my predictions are not based on any of the things everyone talks about. it's not based on demographic breakdown. it's not based on the polls. it's based on the study of history. after all i am obscure history professor. >> not obscure. we know and love you. we've grown up with you.
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what are some of the most important points that you think show that trump is going to win? >> first of all, an open seat is hard to win. we don't have the sitting president running. you have a third party. third parties are bad news for the party in power. you don't have the obama administration matching anything like the affordable care act in the second term. you don't have a big foreign policy triumph that democrats can campaign on like getting rid of bin laden and in hillary clinton, you don't have a john f. kennedy. that's six factors out against the party in power, which historically has meant their defeat. on the other hand as maureen dowd points out, you have a history shattering candidate in donald trump who could break the patterns of history. any one of a dozen things he said would have driven any other candidate out of the race.
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he's even attacked "morning joe." his worst sin. >> does anybody recover from that? >> the management attacks us -- joking. i kid. >> we get mired in the polls and data and day-to-day. you have outstanding skill of stepping back and understanding why things are happening and why plates are moving beneath us. as you look at the last year and a half, what's going on in the country that created this moment for donald trump? >> i was thinking about it over the weekend. >> when you see it, don't you think trump would be dangerous and they don't care. they want to take him as a
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baseball bat and smash washington. he makes a good baseball bat. and our editorial today, hillary is an incrementalist and we're in a revolutionary mood. >> you and maureen, i thought you two had a lot in common. i'm reading this. a neurotic dope. you're the neurotic sisters. >> i thought i was neurotic. what happened? >> i was very offended he didn't take the time to do something unique for me like sleepy eyes chuck todd. i just got the same one every other woman gets. >> how boring. we're neurotic. >> that's what mika said. i'm neurotic. i can live with that. >> if i recall, you like that tweet. >> no problem with that tweet.
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>> so maureen, you have been in a unique position to follow both of these candidates over the past 20, 30 years. i sensed at the beginning when the establishment was freaking out over donald trump, a glint in your eye about him that's sort of like he's poking at the establishment. it was a fascinating topic to write about. >> it was fun to see the apple court overturned and someone do it without the money. and to add zest to hillary's trudge but when it got to bigotry and hate and muslim women getting beat up and
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latinos, you know, getting tormented it wasn't fun anymore. >> we have two huge historical forces clashing in this election. based on my study of all history of presidential elections since 1860, the republicans should win. we have never before, for example, had a candidate who invited a hostile foreign power to mettle in our elections. talking about blowing ships out of the water in the persian gulf and starting a war who has been a serial fabricateor. which of these forces will prevail? that's the big picture of this election and makes it the turning point election of our times. >> quinnipiac came out with a poll because they aren't close enough, national 44, clinton.
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43, trump. when i look at california and pennsylvania and wisconsin, i'm sorry. i go advantage trump. when you start seeing those numbers, it can change tonight. it could change in a month. the trend lines are ominous. >> there are democrats who say maybe they can't win this election and it's too much of an election of change and she's too limited of a candidate. she can pick off a single state of any of the big three and if she wins any of them, he doesn't have a path. she has that advantage. look at her numbers, low to mid 40s is not enough to win. >> maureen dowd, thank you. the new book is "the year of voting dangerously." >> where will you watch the debate? >> we're going to try to write live about it. and we're doing our podcast at
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1:30 in the morning. >> professor, are your predictions always at the same time? >> no. it shows you how puzzling how election this is. joe, my best wishes for your son. >> thank you so much. greatly appreciate it. former obama campaign chairman david plouffe joins the conversation. we're back in a moment. on the road again ♪ [ front assist sounds ] [ music stops ] [ girl laughs ] ♪ on the road again ♪ like a band of gypsies we go down the highway ♪ [ beetle horn honks ] no matter which passat you choose, you get more standard features, for less than you expected. hurry in and lease the 2017 passat s for just $199 a month. for patients like lynn, advanced genomic testing may lead to
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up next, we're just hours away from the first debate between donald trump and hillary clinton, and the stakes could not be higher, with new polls showing the race to be a virtual tie nationally. and in several key swing states. we're going to dig into all the numbers, plus our conversation with trump's campaign manager, kellyanne conway, and the man who ran president obama's 2008 campaign, david plouffe, joins us. as we go to break, the hug felt around the world. this picture is from the opening of the african-american history museum. first lady michelle obama's warm embrace of former president george w. bush. "morning joe" on this huge debate day is back in just a moment.
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i thought i married an italian. did the ancestrydna to find out i'm only 16% italian. so i went onto ancestry, soon learned that one of our ancestors was eastern european. this is my ancestor who i didn't know about.
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gentlemen, welcome to fight club. >> we'll have something i think that people will respect as a debate. >> first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club. >> i will prepare the way i prepared for the other debates. nothing very formal. >> do you have anybody playing hillary? >> no, i don't. >> second rule of fight club is, you do not talk about fight club. >> i don't know what i'm going to do exactly. you know, it depends on what level she hits you with, if it's fair or unfair. >> third rule of fight club, someone yells stop, goes limp, taps out, the fight is over. >> if she treats me with respect, i will treat her werespect. >> fourth rule, only two guys to a fight. >> we should have no moderator.
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let hillary and i sit there and debate. >> one fight at a time, fellows. >> i think we should have them similar maybe to what we did with the republican debates, except there will be two people instead of ultimately there were 17. >> final rule, if this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight. >> we're going to go back and fort, and she's got a lot of backage. i tell you what. >> good morning. it's monday, september 26th, debate night. everybody ready for the big debate? welcome to "morning joe." with us, the manager editor of bloomberg politics and cohost of with all due respect that airs at si6:00 p.m. on msnbc, mark halperin. al hunt along with willie, joe, and me. joe, before we start off, a lot of people have been tweeting and writing, want to know how your son is doing. >> a lot of prayers for andrew. my family and i can't thank you all enough. it really has been pretty overwhelming. he's doing well. he had a terrible fall last
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thursday. some steps that i have slipped on a few times. we're big guys. but yeah, he -- >> hopefully he gets out this week, maybe. so we'll see. >> frar ed fractures hid skull. a little bleeding they have to monitor, but he's doing much, much better. up and about. walking. willie, i tweeted this early on. that the first test the next morning, really dark moments for us. doctor asked a lot of questions. what's the date, whauz this, where are you, what's your name. then the last question, what's your favorite team? he goes, the red sox. they're on an eight-game winning streak. i'm like, he's going to be okay. but incredible doctors. >> they also asked who the president was. >> mika asked this one. he sort of grimaced. president obama. >> still got it. >> he comes from my mom's side
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of the family there. that's always sort of the safety question when she doesn't remember much of anything. we ask her that, and she remembers. that cuts through. so anyway, thanks to the hospital. bellevue has been extraordinary. and again, thanks for so many friends have called and so many prayers from people we don't even know. we can't thank you enough. >> we'll revisit once again later. first, let's get to the big debate tonight between hillary clinton and donald trump. it's expected to be the most watched presidential debate iphistory. perhaps that's because of the stakes. the race headed into tonight's showdown, a dead heat. with donald trump gaining even more ground in a new poll that was still in the field just 48 hours before the candidates take the stage. the new bloomberg politics poll shows hillary clinton and trump tied in a two-way race. both candidates at 46% nationally. a big factor in clinton's decline, drop among young voters falling from a 29-point lead in
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august to a 10-point lead today. and in a four-way matchup, clinton has fallen slightly behind trump, who leads 43% to 41%. gary johnson at 8%, jill stein at 4%. another national poll from the "washington post"/abc news also has the race in a statistical tie. can you believe this? giving clinton the slightige, 46% to 44%. johnson sits at five points in that poll. joe, this is like -- have we ever seen anything like this before? >> we have seen things going back and forth, but nothing like this election before. absolutely nothing, and mark halperin, if you had to create a script for a bonfire of the vanities election, and you wanted to have it move into certain dramatic ways going up to the first debate, this is exactly how you would do it. the numbers here are surprising enough. the state polls we saw on friday and that we saw, see this
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morning, out this morning, just stunning. the race is up in the air, and donald trump's supporters have ever reason to believe he's going to win this election. >> it's been several days in florida last week talking to voters. the young voter thing that shows up in our poll is a really big deal. a lot of young people said they were for bernie sanders. they're for hillary clinton if they vote, but she has to convince people to be inspired. and there's a thought in some democratic circles that i still think she's the favorite, but there's a thought that trump may have the public mood on his side in a way that a lot more states will come into play. you see all the battleground states tightening. she still has an edge, but tonight, the stakes are huge because of how close it is. >> let's go through the battleground states really quickly. >> all right, new poll shows tightening in pennsylvania. the morning call poll shows clinton and trump effectively tied. 40% for clinton to 38% for trump who gained six points in a week.
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gary johnson at 8%. this as new cbs battleground tracker polls show colorado a dead heat. >> that's a state right there. more than any state, even more than a dead heat, al hunt, in pennsylvania, which is shocking enough. a dead heat in colorado after hillary was up 15 points earlier. and the demographic makeup of that state is enough to send chills through all of brooklyn. >> it is. colorado has a high percentage of college-educated whites. they have a sizable percentage of latinos. that was a state that the democrats had put in the blue column along with pennsylvania. both look very close now. this race couldn't be any tighter. if you look at our poll, it's not only is it virtually dead even, but it's striking how parallel they are. they both have very high negatives.
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42% positive, 56% negative. people think he's healthier. they think she's smarter. and they think neither one is very truthful. and it really is -- they are absolutely consistent there. their negatives are as high as one another at this stage. joe, i look at a lot of polls. i think if you look at all the polls, bloomberg and nbc happen to be the very best. a lot aren't very good, but the post poll was pretty good, abc, and mcclatchy marist, you look and you conclude she has a very small lead, two or three points, and the third party candidates are clearly taking a little more from her than they are from him. >> you know, willie, you can look at the state polls, and we have more state polls we're going to show in one minute, but take what we showed last week and this week. if you told me going into the first debate that the republican would be tied in pennsylvania, tied statistically in wisconsin, up eight in iowa, tied in colorado, tied or a little ahead in nevada.
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i would say, well, that sure is -- that sounds like a race that the republican is going to win going away. >> ahead in florida, ahead in ohio. you gee back to the colorado poll. that's a state a few weeks ago the clinton campaign pulled their ads out of because they say we can chalk this up. >> scary. >> state by state, i'm glad you brought that up. you go state by state and look how much hillary clinton has spent in each of these states. like hundreds of millions of dollars. donald trump, zero. >> right. >> in most of them. >> you look at her numbers like in the colorado poll, where she's at 40%. okay, she's not at 45% or 46%. she's doing badly. trump's doing better. she's more in the low 40s. and if she's in the low 40s, she's not going to win. >> and they have known her for 35, 40 years. again, this can all change. she was, again, i remember going around the table in washington. you weren't there, but going around the table in washington. i said i think this race is a
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toss-up. everybody else said it's over for hillary. it's over for hillary. that was three weeks ago. this can change. >> that was certainly the conventional wisdom. it's different race today than a month ago. not because of the national polls, but you look at the state-by-state polls and that's why democrats are getting tight, and that's why they feel like the pressure is on hillary clinton. i had one democratic supporter say tonight, this debate tonight, is, quote, save the republic. >> it's just incredible. i don't disagree. clinton holding on to an eight-point lead in virginia. 45% to 37%, but she's down four points in that state poll since august. as willie mentioned, the clinton campaign and their super pac had pulled ads from both colorado and virginia earlier this summer. that's confidence. and in maine, a poll -- >> this is another stunner. >> it gives clinton a three-point lead, 40% to 37%, with gary johnson taking 12 points. >> you know this state well. you have been there every year
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of your life. and since 1988, no republican has won maine. >> what in the world? >> donald trump is going to at least move ahead in one electoral vote. >> the state is poised to split its electoral votes for the first time with trump ahead in the northern district. clinton up 21% in the first. >> i understand hillary husband had a tough couple weeks. she had the pneumonia scare. they didn't handle that forthrightly. she -- i know they're still sort of this residue from the comey situation. but in poll after poll after poll, you see minus 4, minus 5, minus 6, minus 8. has she performed so badly over the last week, week and a half, to show that kind of precipitous decline, or is this something bigger than just what people are seeing situationally on the ground? >> i think you have the two factors that have come together at the same time, which is that
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trump has performed in a more disciplined and less controversial way. he said he continues to say various things that aren't true and things that not normal nominees would say. but he has not added a new con level. >> he's not attacked grandmothers. >> he's not done anything to create a major blow-up, and she has had a bad couple weeblg weeks. although last week, people at this table and elsewhere sort of suspected or sensed she had kind of stabilized. to me, one of the biggest questions remaining, and it draws out something al pointed out is what happens to the gary johnson vote? what happens to that vote? it's mostly a millennial vote frahm what we can tell. he's 8, 10, 12 points. if he's not on the debate stage in the course of three debates, history would suggest his vote would collapse as we get closer to election day. where is that 8, 10, 12 points
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going. is that a vote that's going to stay home? is it a millennial vote that's going to drift mostly to clinton? >> points matter. >> that's a big chunk of the vote. >> i don't know. the numbers have gone down. mark, haven't they seemed to be going more to donald trump? >> it's hard to say because you don't have big enough samples. >> his numbers are going down and donald trump's are going up at the same time. >> donald trump has a ceiling in a lot of these states is below 50%. rirt vitally important that the two other candidates draw at least, i think, 6% between them, but the more it goes up, as john said, the millennial vote is so important to her, as long as those guys stay alive, i wouldn't be surprised to see her campaign starting to go after johnson, and trump's campaign trying to build him up below the radar. it's vital for them that johnson draw votes from her. >> still ahead onmage mj. our interview with kellyanne conway who says debating isn't
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hillary clinton's sweet spot. >> plus, former obama campaign manager david plouffe joins the table. his candidate was favored to win his first debate in 2012 against mitt romney by a wide margin. even though the odds turned out against them, they ultimately won re-election. >> what's so weird about the kelly anne interview says debating is not the sweet spot. what she says her sweet spot is, playing the pan flute. >> have you seen her live? >> i. two rows were ahead of me. >> we'll talk about how much the expectations game really matters when it comes to the debate game. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. how can good paying jobs disappear? it's what the national debt could do to our economy. if we don't solve our debt problem 19 trillion and growing money for programs like education will shrink.
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in just 8 years, interest on the debt will be our third largest federal program. bad news for small businesses. the good news? there's still time for a solution. ask the candidates for a plan to secure our future.
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i can understand why the clinton camp is very nervous, because donald trump has great presence, stature. he's a brilliant debater. newt gingrich put it best. he recently said, donald trump is the best debater he has ever seen. he's like the babe ruth of debating. he shows up and swings and does a great job. >> all right. joining us now, donald trump's campaign manager, kellyanne conway. >> i don't understand, mika. >> what? >> the babe ruth. that babe ruth thing. i was just saying -- >> those polls? >> before a debate, that would freak me out. aren't you supposed to say, you know what? maybe if he hits .150, .175, hopefully he won't drool down his left cheek. he's been drooling a lot lately. >> lower expectations for donald trump? >> in a big way. >> for what purpose. that was newt gingrich's quote, but i thought it was a great quote. >> you have no problem saying this guy is like the greatest that's ever been, and he's going to be incredible tonight? >> i have no problem saying
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that. donald trump started in the middle on august 6th, 2016, because he was in front of the polls and he never moved. >> what do you worry for your candidate? what's the weak spot you're worried about? >> about not being treated fairly afterwards. some of the headlines are already written, that their conclusions in search of evidence. you saw and others were talking about it in the earlier segment that this weekend was spend by editorial writers and people on twitter and elsewhere really trying to undercut donald trump before the debate. and somehow putting the burden, john heilemann was mentioning, putting the burden on the media to prop up hillary clinton and pregame the debate. >> by the way, that's been happening, mika, before. everybody is trying, they're working the refs before. and now, they have moved, mika, to post-spin debate. well, it's -- it's almost like they don't think hillary clinton is strong enough to do it on her own. >> that's the key. we can scream bias and unfairness, but what joe said is
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really the key here, that they're worried about her debating skills. i was astonished to see she had participated in 34 primary debates. it's just an incredible number. and yes, she's the nominee this time. she was not the nominee last time. but there's no connection that we can see between her debate performances and any type of major lift in the polls thereafter. so, and i think they know that in brooklyn. she's surrounded by very smart people. she's a smart person, but this isn't her sweet spot. >> because you're so good, and i actually think the campaign has really changed in a direction dramatically since you joined the trump campaign. i just want to make sure we're on like at least planets that are close to each other or maybe the same one. is it possible -- do you understand why there might be skepticism in the media? is it possible that you see that your candidate hasn't often told the truth in the past about certain issues? i could name them, but i'm just wondering, do you know that about your candidate? i i'm very self-aware and aware
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of my candidate, but i have also been in these debate prep sessions and i see this guy is ready for tonight. he's a natural debater. i have been in politics for 28 years, mika, and i think donald trump has gifts and skills that sometimes escape typical politicians. >> no question. >> because he mind isn't poisoned by all this stuff. stand here, do this. and i have to say as a pollster, i am -- i find it very liberating and refreshing to work for somebody who doesn't ask a pollster what word should i use, which way should i look? >> is he studying on the issues so he understands them and grasps them? >> he takes his job very seriously. you saw in the primaries and people say it doesn't matter. it does matter when it comes to how do you carry yourself on the stage, how do you answer questions when they're asked. when you ask the question about all this, the idea that somebody was talking about the iraq war on a radio show as a private citizen and literally said, yeah, i guess so.
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versus hillary clinton who proudly went down into the well of the united states senate, cast her vote for the iraq war, and basically has been a hawk and an interventionist her entire career. >> you know well the new "washington post" poll came out, has him tied nationally with hillary clinton. on the issues, he's up by seven points on the economy, and effectively tied with her in many areas. the one place is handling an international crisis, he's down double digits on that question. his answer to the question of how we defeat isis has been to knock the hell out of them or do something extremely tough. will he offer more specifics on what that means? because people are really worried about that right now. what is the plan to defeat isis? >> he may, and he certainly has a plan. i have heard it. >> what is it in. >> this is his debate tonight, willie. he'll tell you if that question is asked. there's also, people are just amazed that hillary clinton would put on her campaign website what her plan to defeat isis is. is it that isis can't read that plan? here's what we know.
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since 2003, isis and its predecessors have been responsible for about 80,000 deaths, and we know that -- i'm sorry, 33,000 deaths. 80% of them have occurred in just the last three years under isis. people know the birth and growth of isis have occurred on president obama's watch, if not secretary clinton's watch. >> that's why they're so worried about it and desperate to hear what he would do about it. don't you thnk we're owed some specifics. >> or at least a sense he has a knowledge of the landscape? >> of course, and yes, he'll be happy to offer those specifics without telling the enemy exactly what we're going to do. it does seem odd, but thank you for mentioning the polls. it's something that really struck me in the abc news/"washington post" poll, is how donald trump and hillary clinton are virtually tied on attributes that usually don't benefit a republican presidential candidate. ceg, cares about people like me. they're basically tied. that's the one that mitt romney lost in the same abc news/"washington post" poll after the election, 82 to 18 to
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president obama. cares about people like me. i think that natural connective tissue he has with people and his ability to communicate directly with people through the noise or through the silence, however the case may be, will be on display tonight. >> just to put a button on it, we'll get the isis plan tonight in the debate? >> you'll get his view of how best to defeat the enemy without telling isis specifically what it's going to be. when it comes to terrorist and the economy in the same poll you were quoting, those are the top two most important issues to voters according to the "washington post"/abc news poll, and they're also the ones where donald trump is dominating hillary clinton on the issue of who do you trust to handle the economy, who do you trust to handle terrorism. americans, if not our allies abroad, consider terrorism isis. we know that. it certainly includes other things too, but it's here on our soil. >> we're pushing here because we had robby mook on and asked him basic questions about syria, which he refused to answer, like for instance, did hillary
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clinton support the president's action after assad crossed the red line. can you answer that question? does donald trump believe barack obama made a mistake by allowing assad to cross the red line and not reacting militarily? >> what mr. trump has said is that the red line wasn't even real. and we're very concerned that you have half a million people who have been killed. you have 3 million refugees. >> did barack obama make a mistake by not responding? >> my view is yes. i'm sure donald trump will be asked that tonight. and to the extent that my view matters -- >> do you know what donald trump's view is on that? >> what is it in. >> of course, barack obama and hillary clinton, who was there, when he put in that red line, have made a mistake by not taking syria, and look, even the u.n. has called what they're doing barbaric. i read there are about 80 civilian deaths yesterday. >> samantha power yesterday, by the way, very, very strong speech at the united nations
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about six months late, accusing russia of acts of barbarism. it's about time. >> front and center tonight is truthfulness on the part of both candidates. mika referenced it. there are so many examples for both candidates of things they said. i know you think she doesn't tell the truth, but i'm asking about your candidate. he said lester holt is a democrat. he is a republican. how could he say such a thing that just black and white, factually incorrect? >> i don't know that he knew what lester holt's voter registration was. >> without knowing, he asserted he was a democrat. >> i said yesterday on this week with george stephanopoulos that i think that lester holt is a great selection for a moderator. but here's the thing. what we don't like is the following. what we don't like is the following. what we don't like, and first, if you're going to tell me the media is not overly populated with democrats. >> i'm asking you about a specific thing. he made a factual thing about the moderator who conserves the right to be treated fairly, and it was just wrong. it's a fetefore for his
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frequently in public stating things that have no basis in truth. >> a terrible and irrelevant example respectfully and here's why. we were appalled at the treatment of nbc news matt lauer. i said it, mr. trump has said it many times. matt lauer did not deserve the treatment and the blow back he received. we thought he did a great job. matt lauer didn't set up hillary clinton's private server. excuse me. matt lauer didn't vote for the war in iraq. >> i'm asking you how someone who is running for president can assert on the eve of the debate that the moderator is a democrat, which is factually incorrect? how can he do that? >> i think what donald trump was trying to convey is that the media are filled -- writ large, the media are filled -- >> not what he said. >> did he ask for his voter registration? >> he didn't say i don't know what he is but he's biased. he said he's a democrat. >> the thing that concerns us is not the moderators themselves
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because they would be seen as fair. what bothers us is the very public and very coordinated attempt to gain the refs. the idea that robby mook and others, really smart people, i respect them as cliegs across the aisle, the idea they're out there publicly telling the media this is what you should be doing, do you consider yourself an abject of the clinton campaign because they do. and it's irresponsible of them to be telling the media through twitter, through the back of the plane comments last week, that here's your job, if you don't fact check donald trump, the bar is lower. some of them are even suggesting the questions would be tougher on her because of sexism. seriously? you have been secretary of skate, you have been first lady. you have been a u.s. senator. >> not only are they playing the refs during, they have now taken this to a whole new level. >> that's right. >> they're already suggesting she's going to lose the debate and telling people how they need to respond after the debate. >> it's terrible. >> i don't understand what that
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has to do with mark's question. >> if you're frustrated about media coverage, we really are. >> we're asking why he lied about lester holt? >> he didn't lie. >> i think he did. >> mika, a lie would mean that he knew the man's party registration. we're very -- by the way, we're very comfortable. we had each campaign had a right to object to certain moderators. >> as president, would he say things that are false without knowing the truth? >> we need to get to john heilemann. we're running out of time. we had about five minutes on this, and go ahead, give me a quick answer and let's go to john heilemann. >> what i would ask you to do is look at the twitter feeds of, quote, objective reporters, particularly our inbeds. these are not profiles in courage and this is not journalism. there are people who cover our campaign who slander our candidate. i printed them all out. 92% of at least two of our em d embeds' tweets are negative to donald trump.
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why are they covering our campaign if they can't say look at the crowd, look at the rsvps of 32,000 people in florida last monday and the place only held 8,500. look at the rise in the polls. they have none of the polling stories you're covering responsibly on your show. so you know, excuse the trump campaign if we feel like we can't get a fair shake from certain people. >> john heilemann. >> you mentioned you had been observing mr. trump as he's been doing his debate prep. put aside the question of how the debate will be interpreted or covered. in terms of candidate performance, what is the biggest concern you have going into tonight or the biggest risk donald trump faces in terms of his own performance? >> i already said it, that it won't be treated fairly. >> kellyanne, i said put aside how it's interpreted. as someone who coached a lot of candidates, watching your candidate go through the debate prep, where might be have the biggest problems. >> his biggest problem may be
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something that senator obama said in 2008 when he was running against hillary clinton, which is that hillary clinton will say anything or do anything to get elected. and so if she ends up saying to him that's just not true, you're distorted my record. you're being mean to a woman, and then people will say, he was mean to a woman, and the headlines will scream and twitter will blow up, even if it's not true. that would be my concern, he's not able to get out all of his responses because as joe correctly points out, people are so worried she's not a great debater, that she's not ready for tonight the way he is, she's going to try to interrupt him and confuse the people watching in some a way that he was somehow rude to a woman, he somehow lied on the stage. >> thank you so much. coming up on "morning joe," it's the end of september, but many are tuning in for the first time on the presidential race. >> hello. >> ahead -- >> good to see you. >> we have been talking about it all summer. the filmmaker behind front lines definitive guide to the madcap 2016 election. you're watching "morning joe." we're back in a moment.
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ten days ago, john said the fundamentals of the economy are sound. >> say it directly to him. >> john, ten days ago, you said the fundamentals of the economy were sound. >> were you afraid i couldn't hear him? >> that was then-senator barack obama with john mccain in the 20
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2008 election. jim weir was going to have none of this. talk to him, which is probably the way to do it. with us now, the architect of president obama's two winning came pains and a man who should know, who has the advantage in 2016, david plouffe. he's currently an informal adviser to hillary clinton's campaign. david, how important is tonight's debate? as you look at dynamics that could change the race between now and election day. >> it's clearly the most important moment left. it's like 75% of the rest of the campaign. now, my view is donald trump is losing this race, so he's the one who has the change the trajectory tonight, but it's a great opportunity for hillary clinton. she's not as good a speech maker as barack obama and not the retail politician her husband was. hopefully she'll speak from the heart and gut about why she's doing this and provide some more motivation for turnout and for democrats to be more excited, butt rr a huge moment. the question for trump, this is a hard thing to do, and so does hevise the patience and discipline to get through a 90-minute discussion about what's happening in the world.
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>> we have shown several polls that have come out over the past couple days, tied race in pennsylvania. tied in colorado. last friday, we saw some wisconsin numbers that showed wisconsin was too close to call. what's going on out there? in these states that hillary clinton should be ahead by five, six, seven points? >> first of all, there's a new cheetos bud light poll every hour with a different state. >> these are all kind of matching up. >> also, don't disparage cheetos and bud light. >> love them both. the doritos miller lite poll is also coming out. what none of these polls accurately do is to look at what a good campaign does is say you have a very good sense of who's likely it vote. you obviously want to affect that to the extent you can with turnout. how is 100% of the vote allocated? undecided, soft supporters, my belief is that johnson and stein's vote number will not be as high as it is right now. when you look at that, getting trump to a win number in
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pennsylvania, whether that's 50, 49, or 48, i think mathematically, it's impossible. >> are you assuming johnson and stein voters are going to go to hillary clinton? >> not all, but i think she has an opportunity to pick more of them up. so what you see is right now, my supposition, i may be wrong about this, we'll see in a few weeks, is that the total they'll both get is more in the seven over eight range, which is still a lot. donald trump i think has a harder ceiling than hillary clinton. getting above 45 nationally is going to be very difficult for donald trump. >> willie. >> you talked to democrats. you do the same thing, who are absolutely astounded that this race is close given the way they feel about donald trump. they can't believe it's a close race. from your data point of view, why is it as tight as it is? >> it's closer than we would like, for sure. i think that first of all, we're pretty divided country. so a republican nominee against a democratic nominee is probably almost guaranteed to get 43, 44.
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i think this is one of the reasons mayor bloomberg didn't run. both are guaranteed over 80% of the vote. and no doubt that hillary clinton's favorable numbers are challenging. she has an opportunity tonight on the stage to improve that. they're not going to change overnight, but i would like to see her favorable nps approach her vote number which in some polls is 47, 48. unlike, there's no filter tonight. maybe two thirds of the people who vote in this election are going to watch the entire debate. this is an incredible moment for both candidates to speak directly. i think it's important to get off to a strong start because of social media, because a consensus will form. you have to get off to a good ten or 15 minutes, but the important bengali moment barack obama had with mitt romney was important. >> you said over the summer at a bloomberg event at the republican convention that you thought hillary clinton had a 100% chance of winning the election. 100% chance. do you still think she has a 100% chance of winning the
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election? >> i do. i know it sounds crazy, but getting close doesn't matter in a presidential election. row have to win. and the reason i'm so confident is, now, we need democrats to fight and organize and turn out. there's no doubt the obama coalition isn't as motivated as we would like. if you look at pennsylvania, colorado,verge verge, new hampshire, florj florj, i think donald trump has a difficult time getting to the win number. it could be that states like ohio and iowa fall into the trump camp. again, she would still be over 300 electoral votes. >> mark. >> field organizing and television are two areas where the trump campaign has been very far behind. they're catching up to some extent, but they'll end up far behind. does that hurt his chances in some meaningful way? >> i think it does. we always thought the campaign is basically your field goal unit, and you know t can be worth anywhere from a point to three. so i think it does. i think they've -- the clinton campaign has a very smart field operation. it's based on smart analytics and data. they're advertising. television advertising is less
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important in presidential races every cycle, but you still have undecided voters out there, so that does matter. it's not as important as the candidate's strengths and messages, but it matters on the margins. this race may be closer than we would like, but her lead coming out of the convention was unturally large. we have seen that shrink a little bit, but i actually believe the race is likely to open up a little bit for her in the next four or five weeks. that doesn't mean she'll win by eight or ten, but by four or six, that's possible. >> 100%? >> can a candidate win without the type of get out the vote operation that you guys had in '08 and '12? >> sure, if they have just got enormous momentum and there are strong winds blowing out there and they're surfing, it's like no matter what you do. i don't think that's where we are. i think states like florida. you look at florida and north carolina, where turning out difficult to turn out voters is so important. i think clinton has an advantage. >> did you put a number on the
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extraordinary effort your campaign did in '08 and '12 to get out the vote? the remarkable targeting. you guys followed up on what ken mehlman did in 2004 so effectively for bush. it matters in the margins. is it 1%, 2%, what did you figure out after '12, that get out the vote operation? >> it depends on the state. some states, states like nevada, florida, north carolina, matters a great deal. the candidates, barack obama was the reason we won and his message. just like the turnout message that bush and melman did in '04 in ohio was historic. those voters were motivated by bush. the campaign is there to materialize that vote. can matter from one to three points. i think that in all likelihood, you're going to see, like in a state like florida, we won it by a point. we win in 2016 by 2.5, just through democrats alone. i think clinton will do better with white voters in the southern part of the state and the northern part of the state
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than we did. i know 100% sounds crazy but i'm going to stick with it. the electoral college picture is on her page. >> everyone has been wrong about trump every step of the way, so that's the only thing wrong with the 100% thing. every step of the way. >> thanks for being with us, david. and you work for a great company. i was just saying before, i haven't had a bad experience with uber yet. of course, i just jinxed myself. >> a work opportunity for a lot of people out there. >> no doubt about it. >> david plouffe, thank you. >> very good to have you. >> still ahead, kasie hunt joins us with new reporting ahead of the clinton/trump debate showdown. plus, frontline gives us new revelations about the two nominees. >> when are we going to talk about the red sox? look at this. can you believe that? 11 in a row. >> amazing. >> 23 strikeouts yesterday. >> what's going on? >> 23 strikeouts yesterday. >> what? okay. >> unbelievable against the rays. >> but first, another classic
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he just kept hammering him, and i thought, oh, barack obama is starting something that i don't know if he'll be able to finish. >> say what you will about mr. trump, he certainly would bring some change to the white house. see what we got up there.
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>> donald dreads humiliation, and he dreads shame. and this is why he often attempts to humiliate and shame other people. so in the case of the president ridiculing him, i think this was intolerable for donald trump. >> i think that is the night that he resolves to run for president. i think he is kind of motivated by it. maybe i'll just run. maybe i'll show them all. >> that was a sneak peek of the choice, 2016, the illuminating new documentary from front line, and joining us now, producer and director of the project, michael kirk. also with us, political correspondent kasie hunt. >> we all remember that moment, the series of jokes, and donald trump standing there staring, glaring back, and everybody was thinking, wow, the president is just kicking the hell out of this guy. isn't this funny? but front line seems to think or at least some people that you
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interviewed seem to think that was the moment donald trump said, okay, fine. we'll show them. >> he had been toying with the idea since 1988, since the art of the deal came out, his book, and he needed to sell books, so he went up to new hampshire and did a faux campaign stunt. but that night, by then, i think he was ready. he had been doing the birther thing, as you guys all remember. and he was primed. i don't think he thought it would heappen the way it happened. obomb auma was relentless, becaf the birther thing, i think. if it lit the fuse, we're living with the results right now. >> we are living with the result. this is a quote that trump, a speech he gave in '80. my message is simpm and direct. i want strength and extreme competence at the helm of the country. i'm personally tired of seeing this great country of ours being ripped off and really decimated
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and hurt badly by so many foreign nations that are supposedly our allies. you can see picture of jane pauley interviewing him on the "today" show in the '80s, and all these others. his message is pretty consistent through the years. >> most always. when you go back and find the stock footage the way we did, there are these eureka moments where you say, oh, my god. remember, both of these people have lived their lives, 30, 40 years, on the stage, on programs. like this and the "today" show. they have been on the record, if you will, and that record is pretty consistent with trump. the message hasn't changed almost at all, around the central part. >> the criticism he has. >> yeah, the criticism he has. >> that we're being ripped off by other countries orb our leaders are stupid. >> it's basically the same. the question is where did it all start and how did it all happen? and why is he who he is now? what happened to donald trump and what happened to hillary clinton? that's what the program is
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about. >> you speak to that in the documentary. in a place that i haven't seen a lot of other newspapers or magazines or tv shows go, which is draw parallels between their fathers. we know about fred trump. we know about hillary clinton's dad. they both had to live up to pretty tough guys growing up. >> it's obvious you worry about how much what your parents did to you, but you're grown-up and you lived beyond all that, but stuff happened back then to both of them. her father, extremely aggressive and abusive to her mom. a household that had lots of arguing going on inside of it. we talked to lots of friends who said she never invited her friends to the house. maybe it's the beginning of that penchant for privacy and secrecy. the first start for something like that. fascinating to watch her grow through that, and all the other things that happened to her. and the other thing is for trump, his dad said winners and losers. you're a killer, donald. live and be that way. i think that's at the heart of who he is and why that humiliation from bush bothered
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him so much. >> one thing that strikes me too is the roots of their interaction have been the same for a long time and the animosity is very, very real. you have this sense that donald trump has been an outsider who always wanted to be an insider, inviting hillary clinton to their wedding. it's unclear, we think they haven't actually seen each other in a social way since that wedding, that they attended together. i think it struck meha photograph of george w. bush, michelle obama over the weekend that we saw. can you imagine that happening with donald trump and anyone else in the political establishment? >> you're wrigright. there couldn't be two more different people running for the presidency. i made this film "the choice" and we made it back to dukakis. i made four of them. they're always politicians running against each other. it's sort of the game. you have arguments, but you make up. this is a blood sport in lots of ways. from two people who couldn't be more different. >> animosity is so real between the president and donald trump and between hillary clinton and donald trump, and vice versa in a way that if hillary clinton
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were running against jeb bush right now, it wouldn't be. >> no. >> and i can't wait, as somebody who spent six, seven months looking at thesis people and talking to everybody who knew them all the way back in their earliest years, i can't wait to see what happens between the two of them tonight. who will actually show up? because i know, i think, what happened to the two of them throughout their lives. and it's who meets whom across that stage tonight. >> wow. >> i actually think the animosity between donald trump and barack obama is the greatest. >> you're right about that. >> i would not be surprised if donald trump and bill clinton seven years from now were golfing somewhere. donald trump and barack obama will never ever, i think, hang out. >> i think you're right about that. >> and how fascinating that that's the moment that front line goes back to. that really made him think, okay, i'll stop pretending to run for president. >> it's the division in the
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country. it's something even larger than trump and clinton. it's what's going on in america and who he represents, a voice, an angry voice. it's been with us in america before. donald trump seized it. he learned from the apprentice how to size up his audience, and to get their voters, their viewers, there's no difference anymore. and he's got them in that way, and that's the battle he's fighting. >> front line's "the choice 2016" aired tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. on pbs. thank you very much for being on the show. we'll be back in a moment with much more "morning joe." but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do? drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement™, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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i went to my staff and said how can all the people for these jobs are all men? they said these are the people who have the qualifications. i said, gosh, can't we find some women that are also qualified? and so we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. i went to a number of women's groups and said can you help us find folks? they brought us whole binders full of women. >> that was the second debate between barack obama and mitt romney. it was held at the same site as tonight's clinton/trump matchup. now it's time to talk about what we learned today. i think we're going to go to joe. go ahead. >> i want to thank everybody. obviously, bellevue, and of course, dr. spiro who was incredible over there. a lot of prayers coming in. meant the world to our family. meant the world, andrew,
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brianna, and also, miller on the other side of the camera, was there. >> deb fineman. >> lewis, dan norwick. thank you for helping andrew. >> a group of people. thank you so much. he's doing well. doing better. >> hopeful. >> and we're cautiously optimistic. thingerize looking far better. >> a rough day. willie, what did you learn? >> i learned from david plouffe, the veteran of two winning presidential campaigns that there's a 100% chance hillary clinton will be president. >> feels a little high. >> he is an adviser to the campaign. >> nothing to see here. move on. 100%, i'm going to start focusing on other topics. >> fantastic. kasie hunt. >> i learned that the trump campaign reads twitter very carefully, especially those tweets that its embeds are sending. >> oh, my goodness. >> it's okay to misidentify our friend lester holt as a democrat even though he's a registered republican, according to kellyanne conway. >> moving along, that does it
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for us. >> what did you learn? >> that tonight i think could be defining. i really see it as a potentially defining moment for both candidates. >> where are you going to watch the debate? >> in a bar. >> bowling alley. >> where are you watching? >> where willie and i always go. >> you'll be at the holiday inn. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage now from the debate site at hofstra university. >> no pressure. as mika says, a defining moment. look at this crowd. living up to the term strong island. that's for sure. good morning. i'm stephanie ruhle. we're live at hofstra university in long island, new york. look at these kids. we talk about americans, young americans not being psyched for this election. they sure are a

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